Yellow Page advertising is a unique animal. On one hand, placing an ad in the local Yellow Pages makes complete sense. Unlike someone thumbing through a magazine, most people who pick-up the Yellow Pages are looking to buy.
On the other hand, when they turn to your section, they are immediately greeted with the ads of most of your competitors right there alongside your ad.
To end the debate right here I will state without hesitation that
most businesses can benefit greatly from effective Yellow Page
advertising, not in spite of the situation described above, but
because of it.
You see, most Yellow Pages ads are completely wasted. I would
challenge you to pick any category and flip to it. What you will
find are bunch of ads that might as well say, “We don’t do
anything different than anyone else, but here’s our phone number
so you can call and ask for a quote.”
It’s no wonder I run across scores of business owners who
complain they never get any results with their Yellow Pages
So why are Yellow Page ads so bad?
Most end up being designed by the Yellow Page ad sales folks
who basically tell you that you need a bigger ad, with a border,
with color with, your name big and bold at the top…or
You go look in the Yellow Pages and you see a big ad, with a
border, with color and a big fat logo at the top and you copy it.
Go ahead, pull out the yellow pages and you’ll see what I mean.
Here’s the deal.
The Yellow Pages can be a great tool for most businesses. As I
stated before, when people reach for the Yellow Pages they are
motivated and often ready to buy or find a business to visit.
Here’s how to make sure that your Yellow Pages investment pays
Use a headline
This is an ad. You are trying to get someone to read your ad
and understand how you are different from the 234 other
businesses that do what you do listed right there on the same
page. Since the Yellow Pages offers your reader a host of
choices for every category (essentially all of your competitors)
you must stand out. Grab them with an effective headline.
“Discover the Worlds Most Comfortable Mattress”
Relax and enjoy soothing music while you bounce, poke, and
feel your way to sleeping heaven in our entertaining showroom
Who wouldn’t want to call that company? Don’t use up the most
valuable space in the ad to give your company name and logo.
People go the Yellow Pages because they don’t know whom to
call. Give them a reason to call you. Use that space at the
top of the ad to stand out. Once you draw them in, they will
find your name.
Make them an offer – The point is to generate a lead with your
ad not necessarily a sale
Use your ad and your headline to offer a free report, offer a
reason to call, or communicate how you are different from the
rest. If you don’t do this one thing in your ad, the calls you
will get from your ad will all be price shoppers.
“FREE Report – 10 Proven methods to more restful nights and
Remember, this is a very competitive environment; give them a
reason to call you.
Not features–Benefits. 100% No Questions Ask Guarantee. Free
set-up. We recycle your old mattress for your. Delivered to
your door when it’s convenient for you.
Too many ads say things like quality work, in business over
29 years, family owned. These may all be nice things but they
don’t get at the heart of what your prospects want.
Call them to action
Make sure that all of your contact information–email, address,
fax, store hours, location–you name it, are easy to find.
Ad Size Can Matter
Don’t waste a fortune on your ad. Make sure that it is big
enough to stand out in the category. You don’t need to dominate
with size when you have a headline and a compelling offer. Ask
your sales rep where a certain size ad would rank you in the
category (biggest ads run first) and go from there. Aim for a
great ad that is middle of the road size wise.
Besides your ad will stand out now anyway.
Test your ad
One of the real downsides to a Yellow Pages ad is that, once
you stick your ad in the book, it’s there for 12 months without
any way to change it.
Well in advance of your ad deadline, design two or three different
ads and run them in a newspaper that fits your target market.
Carefully track the success of each ad and then run the winner
in the permanent book. (Just running an ad that pulled well in
a newspaper will make your ad standout from the crowd)